Saturday, 29 September 2012

Norwich v Liverpool

After reaching the next round of the League Cup, Liverpool travelled to Norwich looking for their first league win of the season and the lineup was a mix of youth and experience with league debuts for Andre Wisdom and Suso and senior member Suarez and Gerrard back in the 11.

Liverpool began electrically with a goal from Suarez after 65 seconds after he danced into the box and after two touches powered the ball past Ruddy and Liverpool were up and running

Within minutes it could have been two for Liverpool as Agger headed over from Sahin's free kick, Norwich had a golden chance to equalise on 10 minutes as Jackson hit the post from a Snodgrass cross which Reina pushed onto the post.

23 minutes gone and Liverpool were denied a penalty as Suarez hit the deck after a challenge from Leon Barnett but the referee waved away the appeals. Liverpool went close to a second on 36 minutes as Agger produced some sublime play to open up the home defence but Suarez knocked the ball wide.

Suarez redeemed himself from that miss with a superb second goal after robbing the ball off Turner he produced a sublime finish into the corner and Liverpool were flying high with seven minutes left of the half. 

Halftime arrived and Liverpool went in happy and 45 minutes away from their first league win of the season and as the second half began it was almost a dream start for Norwich as   Morison sprays a cross to the back post and Surman powers a shot at goal and Snodgrass produces a howler as he misses from two yards and the ball went over the bar

Their hopes were dashed a minute later by Nuri Sahin with his first league goal and his third this week after two in the League Cup, as he tapped in from Suarez's pass to put Liverpool three up.

Suarez secured his second consecutive hat trick at Carrow Road on 58 minutes as he sent the ball spinning into the net from 22 yards out with Ruddy having no chance of stopping it and Liverpool surely had their first win and led 4-0.

However, Norwich began the comeback four minutes later as Morison slammed the ball past Reina after the Liverpool keeper failed to keep hold of Martin's shot and Norwich had pulled one back.

The comeback lasted barely six minutes as Liverpool hit their fifth courtesy of Steven Gerrard after collecting the ball from a Barnett deflection, he powered it past the ailing Ruddy.

Both sides pushed for more goals and the last of the match came three minutes from the end as a lapse in the Liverpool defence by Martin Skrtel allowed Grant Holt to score Norwich's second with a tidy finish.

Holt's goal made no difference to the result and as the final whistle went, Liverpool had secured their first league win of the season in style with Suarez hitting top form and fully deserving the matchable and the Man of the Match award.

                                                                                          Other results from this afternoon..

Thursday, 27 September 2012

West Brom v Liverpool (Capital One Cup)

After the defeat on Sunday, Liverpool began tonight looking to bounce back and the lineup showed yet again the 'kids' would be the ones trying for the first domestic win of the season.

Liverpool's plan suffered an early blow after only four minutes as a mistake by Brad Jones saw Gabriel Tamas open the scoring for West Brom and Liverpool were on the back foot. 

Romelu Lukaku nearly made it 2-0 but saw his shot denied by a well timed interception by Jamie Carragher and a couple of minutes later he set up Rosenberg who saw his shot well saved by Jones.

Liverpool had a great chance to equalise as Assaidi flew down the left and curled towards the near post but as Yesil arrived he was unable to guide the ball in.

The equaliser did come on 17 minutes as Downing spotted Wisdom out on the right and the full back put in Sahin who let fly from 30 yards out, the  shot troubled Foster in the home goal and smashed in.

With halftime approaching, Liverpool started a break as Assaidi fed Yesil who looked to have been clipped as he went to break through the West Brom defence but stayed on his feet and was sadly dispossessed by Jonas Olsson.

After the interval, Liverpool continued where they had left off with Pacheco and Yesil exchanging passes just outside the area but as the Spaniard went to shoot, the ball was intercepted.

Both sides pressed for a winner but it was Liverpool who again had a great chance as Yesil's close range shot crept over the crossbar and it seemed like the away side would be the next to score as Sahin dominated the possession in the middle and the attacks became more expansive.

Pacheco came close twice with the first coming after beating his marker to loop a shot over Foster which pinged onto the cross bar and his second chance saw him fire low at Foster with the keeper pushing away the goal-bound shot.

In the 80th minute, Liverpool wrote a new piece of history as 16-year-old Jerome Sinclair came on to become the youngest-ever Liverpool player to play for the 'senior' team when he replaced Yesil while Pacheco departed for Suso.

Suso made an instant impact as he ran at the West Brom defence with confidence before sliding a pass to Assaidi who then squared the ball to the back post for Sahin to tap in and secure a brace and surely the passage into the fourth round for Liverpool.

The final whistle went and Liverpool secured their first domestic win of the season and a place in the fourth round in which they were drawn at home to Swansea, a reunion for manager Brendan Rodgers in October on the cards.

Other results in round three

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Liverpool v Manchester United

After a hard fought win on Thursday against Young Boys, Liverpool hosted Manchester United at Anfield in what would be an emotional occasion.

Both sides of fans took part in the pre match tribute to the 96 lost at Hillsborough which was observed with utmost respect and the pre-match handshake caused no problems unlike previous matches.

Liverpool started the better and created numerous chances but as is the Liverpool way this season they couldn't hit the target. Borini and Suarez each had great chances to break the deadlock and the pace and skill of Sterling and Kelly created openings for the home side.

However the balance of the game changed dramatically on 39 minutes as Jonjo Shelvey received his marching orders with a straight red card for a challenge on Evans which on replay looked to be the right decision but Evans may have received a booking as it looked like both went in hard on each other.

Half time came and both sides went in equal at 0-0 with Liverpoool hoping their numerical disadvantage wouldn't cost them the game.

A surprise substitution saw Suso make his Premier League debut in place of Fabio Borini and Liverpool started the half in the best possible way as Steven Gerrard slammed home in the 46th minute, Glen Johnson's attempted burst into the box saw the ball fall into Gerrard's path and he beat Lindegaard with a low finish.

The lead lasted barely five minutes before a spectacular effort by Rafael drew United level with an equaliser of pure class, he collected the ball on the right-hand side of the Liverpool area and bent in a superb shot that left Reina powerless as the ball curled in off the far post.

Luis Suarez had a great chance to regain the lead on the hour mark with a powerful shot from just outside the box which forced a good save from Lindegaard and five minutes later, Suso had a great chance but again Lindegaard kept the scores level.

Raheem Sterling departed the field and Jordan Henderson entered the fray on 66 minutes and Sterling received a great ovation for his good performance.

Suarez broke through  and sprayed the ball across the box but no team mates were in attendance to tap the ball in and regain the lead in the 69th minute.

Penalty to Manchester United on 76 minutes and Johnson conceded it as Valencia advanced into the box and the two collided as Reina came out. Daniel Agger left the field on a stretcher at the other end of the pitch and on came Jamie Carragher. 

No surprise as Robin Van Persie puts the penalty to Reina's left side after a four minute delay and despite getting a touch to the ball he couldn't keep it out and United led 2-1 and Liverpool needed a miracle to claim their maiden win of the season.

Things got worse in injury time as Martin Kelly limped off leaving Liverpool with only nine on the pitch and after six minutes of added time the whistle went and United took the points leaving Liverpool winless after five games.

Other results this weekend
Dare I say it, this is relegation form and I can't see it getting better this season, luck is just not with us and Norwich next Saturday is a must-win no matter what as winless after five is embarrassing enough.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Young Boys V Liverpool

Liverpool began their Europa League group campaign away in Switzerland to Young Boys and with a massive clash against Manchester United on Sunday, Brendan Rodgers made 11 changes.

Debuts were handed to Suso, Wisdom and Assaidi and Dani Pacheco gained his first start since April 2011. Liverpool were given a very early lead on 4 minutes as Stewart Downing's cross flew into the area with Spycher's headed clearance then ricocheting off Ojala and past 'keeper Wolfli in a comical and unlucky scene. Young Boys nearly drew level straight away but Bobadilla's shot was well saved by Brad Jones.

Assaidi had the chance to put Liverpool 2-0 up on 24 minutes but his shot drifted wide to keep the margin to a single goal and Suso's cut back on 36 minutes failed to reach an unmarked Pacheco. Two minutes later that proved to be costly due to an error by Enrique who took the ball past his own keeper and as he cleared it broke to Nuzzolo and he levellled the score with an easy finish.

Liverpool went 2-1 up on 40 minutes after an amazing leap by Andre Wisdom, Wisdom's powerful header flew in at the far post for his first senior goal on his debut and put Liverpool in front just before half time. Young Boys came so close to levelling two minutes before the break as Farnerud's shot came back off the upright ensured a half time lead for Liverpool.

Young Boys equalised on 52 minutes courtesy of Ojala who made up for his comical own goal from earlier on with a well postitioned header past Brad Jones to score his first goal for the club and put his team back in the game.

Bobadilla's quick break on 63 minutes released Zarate who chipped over Jones and put Young Boys ahead 3-2 just after Borini entered the fray. Zarate departed the field barely two minutes after giving his side the lead and Borini nearly equalised soon after but failed to beat the keeper leading to Assaidi's departure and the entry of Shelvey.

Shelvey had been on barely five seconds and Liverpool were level thanks to Seb Coates with a superb header which flew in past Wolfli as Borini put the 'keeper off on 66 minutes.

 Liverpool went 4-3 up after a nice run by Fabio Borini down the left spry the ball to Henderson who with one touch sets up Jonjo Shelvey to side foot into the goal on 76 minutes and Raheem Sterling came on for Stewart Downing.

Farnerud came close to equaising on 81 minutes but saw hiw shot saved by Jones but on 88 minutes, Jonjo Shelvey scored his second with a run down the middle and then took it past two defenders before powering a shot from the edge of the area which blew past Wolfli in the Young Boys net to seal the win in an eight goal thriller.

A great way to prepare for Sunday and to send a message to the other teams in the group that despite fielding a youthful side, Liverpool can still perform and win well.

Other results tonight were as follows...

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Sunderland V Liverpool

After a two week break, Liverpool travelled up to Sunderland hoping to record a first win of the season but sadly the hope failed to produce such an outcome.

Liverpool started brightly with Fabio Borini having two chances saved but it was Sunderland who made the breakthrough as Craig Gardner went on a run and supplied a cross for Steven Fletcher who tapped in past the ailing Reina to give the Wearsiders the lead.

Frustration grew for Liverpool as Luis Suarez received a booking for 'diving' after he went over John O'Shea's leg and at the halfway point, Liverpool needed to continue with their attacking while improving in the defence to prevent Sunderland closing up the game.

 After the break, Liverpool came achingly close to an equaliser after a break by Glen Johnson allowed him to cut inside and curl a shot which cannoned back off the crossbar. The home side survived yet again as Raheem Sterling put in a cross which caused defensive confusion and ended with Steven Gerrard shooting narrowly past the post.

Sterling continued to be the main threat to Sunderland's and sure enough his cross set up Luis Suarez's equaliser. As the cross came in, Suarez failed to connect with his first attempt after a ricochet from defender Titus Bramble but his second chance hit the back of the net and Liverpool were level and back in the game. Jonjo Shelvey had the chance to secure a maiden win for Liverpool in the final minutes but failed to convert the chance.

Overall, a draw was a fair result as Liverpool's dominance in chances on target left them cursing their luck and Sunderland's resolute defence added to the visitors frustration.

Positives can be taken from the performance of Sterling who over the 90 minutes formed the main threat which was lacking from some of the more senior players and also a draw is better than a defeat.

Young Boys next up in the Europa League before a massive game against Manchester United.

Today's results...

Monday, 3 September 2012

Liverpool v Arsenal

After qualifying for the Europa League group stage to face Anzhi, Udinese and Young Boys, Liverpool turned their attention back to the Premier League and the pursuit of a first win of the season. The lineup included a debut for Nuri Sahin and Raheem Sterling again getting a start alongside Luis Suarez and Fabio Borini.
Liverpool had the first real chance to score via Fabio Borini but he shot wide of Mannone's left post and minutes later the same result came from a Luis Suarez set-piece.

Liverpool looked the most likely to score as the first half went on but were then dealt a massive blow as Gerrard lost possession when trying to put Suarez through on goal only to be intercepted by Podolski who fired the ball up the field to Santi Cazorla who advanced past a back tracking home defence to then lay the ball off to Podolski who's shot crept under Johnson's leg to then take a slight touch off  'keeper Reina and slot in the right corner after 31 minutes.

Liverpool's response to the blow was instant as Gerrard and Borini linked up to put in Sterling but his shot narrowly missed the left post and meant Liverpool went into halftime 1-0 down.

The second half started brightly as Gerrard found space out on the right and crossed looking to pick out Suarez but Suarez looked to have been wrestled to the the ground by Per Mertesacker but appeals for a penatly were turned away by referee Howard Webb while replays showed that Mertesacker had been lucky not to have been sent off.

Downing entered the fray just before the hour mark and setup Suarez who forced a save from Mannone who tipped the shot over the crossbar to stop Liverpool from levelling the score. 

However on 68 minutes, disaster for Liverpool as Cazorla and Giroud linked up passes and Cazorla surged into the box and struck for goal with the ball cannoning off Reina and going in to give the Gunners a two goal lead and leave Liverpool needing a miracle to salvage a point.

Liverpool pressed to get back in the game but in the final 20 minutes their efforts failed to come to fruition and despite an impressive performance another game goes without a win.

The international break could be a blessing and give Brendan Rodgers the chance to find what needs to be done in order for Liverpool to claim a first win which hopefully will come against Sunderland. 

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Liverpool v Hearts

After narrowly winning at Tynecastle last week, Liverpool knew a decent performance would see them through to the Europa League group stage and Thursdays effort was more than decent despite drawing 1-1 on the night.

Both sides had chances in the first half but Anfield soon erupted with Liverpool's Adam Morgan tucking the ball into the net only to see his celebrations end with news of the goal being disallowed as the pass he took from Suarez had included the ball leaving the field of play.

After the interval, the pressure built and Morgan received a standing ovation for a superb hour's work as Raheem Sterling took to the field, Henderson carved open Hearts and put Suarez in on goal only for Luis to take the ball too wide, he tried to correct the overrun but this shot deflected behind. Shelvey then tried to setup Suarez but Luis' one touch drag away from 'keeper MacDonald went wide of the far post.

However with just six minutes remaining, Hearts levelled the tie as Templeton's 35 yard strike was fumbled into the net by Reina to send the away end into raptures and have Liverpool cursing their missed chances. Luis Suarez's night had been chance after chance and finally he got his reward as on 88 minutes he took the ball from Gerrard down the left and outran two Hearts defenders to slot home past MacDonald to regain the lead in the tie and level the score on the night. Hearts tried to score again to go through at the expense of Liverpool but to no avail. The full time whistle went and Liverpool qualify for the group stage draw with the narrowest of margins.

Other results were....